NW 2nd Ave
$5 adults, $3 students/seniors
Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of an American Community
This exhibit celebrates the lives and contributions of Oregon's Nikkei community, and evokes memories of shared experiences - from early settlement through the unique challenges of World War II and into the 21st century. Please join us at the Legacy Center for a unique and educational glimpse of Japanese American life in Oregon.
American Obon: Dancing in Joy and Remembrance
The summer obon festival is an eagerly anticipated event within Nikkei communities throughout North America. People come for the memorial observance, camaraderie, cultural performances, and food, but perhaps the most iconic element of the obon festival occurs when participants gather in a circle for the bon odori (obon dancing).
Reverend Yoshio Iwanaga introduced this tradition to numerous Nikkei communities along the West Coast in the 1930s, and now his pioneering activities will be celebrated in an exhibit at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center.
American Obon will trace the development of bon odori in North America through archival photographs, audio, and rare video footage on loan from the Iwanaga family, dance scholar Linda Akiyama, and Buddhist Churches of America.
In addition, the obon tradition in Portland will be highlighted with photographs from Oregon Nikkei Endowment's Frank C. Hirahara Collection. Curated by Dr. Wynn Kiyama (Portland State University and Portland Taiko), this exhibit will be the first of its kind in North America.
PCC Student Photos
We have posted on our Flickr page photos by Portland Community College photography students. Inspired by work of Motoya Nakamura and his recent Sakura Sakura exhibition, these photographs are also currently on display in the windows of the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center.
During the month of May, the students took dozens of pictures of our Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood, which was once the heart of Portland's historic Japantown. They were guided through these streets around the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center by their class instructor Motoya Nakamura.
Joining the students were members of the Portland Photographic Society. They later juried the students' work and selected their very best photos which we are now able to share with you!
Which photographs do YOU like the most? Please share in the comments on Flickr!
Only the Oaks Remain: The Story of Tuna Canyon Detention Station
Only the Oaks Remain tells the true stories of those targeted as dangerous enemy aliens and imprisoned in the Tuna Canyon Detention Station, located in the Tujunga neighborhood of Los Angeles, by the US Department of Justice during World War II. Rare artifacts such as photographs, letters, and diaries bring the experiences of prisoners—who included Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants and extradited Japanese Peruvians—to life.
During the decade before World War II, the US government compiled lists of people they saw as potential risks to national security. When the war began, Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526, and 2527 authorized the FBI and other agencies to arrest such individuals—mostly spiritual, educational, business, and community leaders from the Japanese, German, and Italian immigrant communities. The government also rounded up Japanese and other individuals who had previously been forcibly removed from Latin America.
Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the US Department of Justice took over a vacated Civilian Conservation Corps camp in the Tujunga neighborhood of Los Angeles and converted it into a detention station by installing twelve-foot-high barbed wire fences, guard posts, and flood lights. The Tuna Canyon Detention Station became one of many initial confinement sites set up by the government. Targeted individuals were quickly arrested in their homes, leaving behind confused and frightened families; most detainees were later sent to Department of Justice or Army internment camps.
Only the Oaks Remain commemorates the history of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station and seeks to educate the public about the violation of civil rights that took place there. The exhibition features photographs, letters, diaries, interviews, declassified government documents, and other rare artifacts that serve to illuminate a largely untold story that goes beyond the more widely-known story of the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans. By taking an unprecedented look at war’s impact on a disparate group of detainees, examining striking similarities as well as differences among them, the exhibition encourages present and future generations to learn from our nation’s mistakes.
Only the Oaks Remain is organized by the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising public awareness about the site’s history. It is working to develop a permanent Tuna Canyon Detention Station Memorial, which will include a plaque and educational posts installed along a walking path lined with mature oak trees, to further educate future generations. For more information, visit www.tunacanyon.org.
This project was organized by the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition; funded, in part, by a grant from the US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program; and sponsored by the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center.
Explore Portland's historic Japantown with this walking tour of the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood. The city's vibrant pre-WWII Japanese American community is archived in over 125 photographs and audio clips. Watch historic Japantown street life reappear in "then and now" photographic dissolves.
Japantown PDX documents the vitality of this once-thriving Nihonmachi as well as its sudden disappearance in the spring of 1942 when all people of Japanese ancestry were removed from the West Coast. In addition to telling Portland's Japantown story, this app explores the remarkably diverse Old Town neighborhood in tour stops that honor its African American, Chinese and LGBT roots. Open the iPhone App Store and search for "Japantown" or visit the Apple iTunes store for more information.
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